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White Tops Gold 20-12 In Rain-Soaked Spring Game

April 18, 2014

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THE FLATS – Georgia Tech scored on offense, defense and special teams in the Yellow Jackets’ rain-soaked spring football game Friday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Junior quarterback Tim Byerly, a Chatahoochee High School product who transferred from Middle Tennessee State in 2012, rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown, and passed for 69 yards to lead the White team past the Gold team, 20-12. Senior B-back Zach Laskey rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown for the White.

Sophomore kicker Harrison Butker kicked two field goals for the White team, including a 54-yard line drive that crawled over the goalpost in the first quarter.

The Gold team, which featured the first-team defense, scored two touchdowns on fumble returns – an 86-yard effort by senior safety Isaiah Johnson and a 42-yard return by junior Demond Smith.

Friday’s game, which concluded Georgia Tech’s spring practice, was played in weather conditions that Paul Johnson called “miserable.”

“I thought our guys fought through the conditions, which were as bad as I can remember,” Johnson said. “Our guys fought through it, but the conditions were less than ideal to play in.

“I thought there were some good things on both sides. The first-team offense moved the ball pretty well. The second-team defense played well, so it was kind of a mixed bag.”

The White team was without sophomore quarterback Justin Thomas, the leading candidate to start this fall, who sat out with a sore shoulder.

“Justin is OK and he wanted to play,” Johnson said. “Given the conditions there wasn’t any use for him to play and it gave an opportunity for Tim (Byerly) and Ty (Griffin) to get more snaps.”

The White team, which included the first-team offense, jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Butker’s 54-yard field goal, five yards longer than any field goal he attempted last season, gave the White a 3-0 four minutes into the game. Later in the quarter, Laskey broke a pair of tackles and rambled 40 yards for a 10-0 White lead.

Isaiah Johnson, a seasoned veteran who sat out all of last season to recover from a knee injury, stripped Byerly of the ball midway through the second quarter and raced 86 yards for a Gold touchdown. The PAT failed, and when Butker booted a second field goal of the half, this one from 40 yards with three seconds remaining in the opening half, the White led 13-6.

A continuous clock was used in the second half.

Byerly gave the White a 20-6 lead with 4:32 left in the third quarter with a two-yard run, capping a 16-play, 77-yard drive.

The Gold scored the final points of the game midway through the fourth quarter when Smith returned a fumble 42 yards.

Byerly completed 5-of-11 passes, including two to Laskey, for 69 yards. Redshirt freshman Ty Griffin, who started under center for the Gold team, rushed 15 times for 75 yards and completed one pass.

Sophomore linebacker Paul Davis, who saw considerable action last season as a true freshman, had two forced fumbles and a sack for the Gold.


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